Back when I was in university (God I sound old), I heard one of my friends refer to Sunday as her “Cinderella day” and the phrase, while admittedly a little too glamorous to describe a day of housework, has stuck with me ever since.
As of late, my Saturdays (which are our weekend equivalent of a Sunday in the western world by the way) have become downright chock-a-block. I reorganize my closet, tidy my room, do several loads of laundry, pack my gym bag for the next day and of course, cook exorbitant amounts of food in the name of meal prep.
While cooking definitely takes up the longest amount of time, I’ve found the secret to a truly successful meal prep session is the following:
- Survey the contents of your fridge and cupboards and note what needs to be used up to ensure minimal waste and eliminate unnecessary grocery shopping.
- Make a list of the dishes you need to prepare, and stick to it. Now is not the time for spontaneous culinary escapades.
- Stick to simple, easy-t0-make items that you can prepare/cook simultaneously.
And on that last note, enters the humble whole roasted cauliflower.
The beauty of this dish (or any slow cooking oven cooked dish really) is that it is so easy to prepare and allows you to get on with about a million things while it does its thing.
Well, okay not a million, but you get what I mean.
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 4-6 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Sauce, dressing or gravy of choice to serve
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 190 C/375 F before you prep the cauliflower. Fill a small pan or oven-proof dish with water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven to create steam - this will help the cauliflower roast nicely without drying out.
- Wash and trim your cauliflower, ensuring all the large leaves and hard core have been removed, but that the florets are still in tact.
- Drizzle 2-3 tbsp of olive oil on the the cauliflower, core side up to ensure even distribution. Massage it in using your fingers to get everything coated. Season with a hefty sprinkling of sea salt and pepper, then place on a baking tray or oven-safe dish and bake until tender all the way through (test with a knife) and golden brown - around 1-2 hours depending on the size of your cauliflower, strength of your oven etc.
- To get a nice golden brown you may want to "baste" your cauliflower with a little olive oil from time to time. Alternatively if your oven has a grill or broiler, you can use that for a few minutes before taking out of the oven.
- Serve on a bed of greens with your sauce, dressing or gravy of choice drizzled on top.
Serving ideas you ask? Well first of all it’s worth mentioning that a whole roasted cauliflower is a perfect vehicle for a blended tahini dresssing, but if you’re not feeling that you could also serve it with a traditional style mushroom gravy, or even on a bed of rich marinara sauce with fresh herbs.
I personally, like to “carve” it and make a roasted cauliflower salad with tahini dressing, goji berries and pine nuts.
In all honesty though, whatever you decide to do with it, it’s not likely you’ll be disappointed. The slow roasting paired with olive oil and simple seasonings makes this simple vegetable burst with flavour – crispy and golden on the outside but sumptuously tender on the inside.
And now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my Friday, before the dreaded cinderella doomsday arrives! Until next time, dear readers.